New chair for Banks Peninsula Water Zone Committee

I feel privileged to have been appointed as the new Chair of the Banks Peninsula Water Zone Committee at our March 2021 meeting. I’m looking forward to the year ahead for the zone committee.

We will keep our focus on mahinga kai, biodiversity, and water quantity as we continue to work to ensure that freshwater ecosystems are protected and restored across the peninsula. 

I would also like to congratulate Aurora Smith for being elected Deputy Chair, Aurora represents Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke/Rapaki.  

A passion for environmental protection

I grew up in Governors Bay and own a farm forestry block in Teddington with several springs and streams on the property.

I’ve always had an interest in the environment, with training in water and wastewater through a civil engineering degree, and an appreciation for water gained from time spent kayaking and sailing on Lyttelton Harbour, as well as volunteering for the Department of Conservation on a number of islands including six months on Raoul Island in the Kermadecs.

Acknowledging Benita Wakefield

This is my fourth year on the committee, where I’ve been Deputy Chair for the past two years and have been fortunate to work with Benita Wakefield (previous Chair). I would like to thank Benita for her passion, dedication, and commitment to freshwater management in Banks Peninsula.

She did an excellent job of creating a positive inclusive atmosphere at our meetings, encouraging people to speak freely and to share their ideas. We are lucky to have her continue as the Runanga Representative for Wairewa.

Water Zone Committee refresh

We will see further changes to the committee this year, as we expect to have new community representatives join in a few months as several positions come up for renewal.

Applications open in mid-April, so if you have an interest in the management of freshwater on Banks Peninsula, I encourage you to apply by visiting ecan.govt.nz/waiwecare before 10 May and let us know wai you care.

Water Zone Committee meetings

The committee will continue to hold its meetings at different locations around the peninsula. You are welcome to come along to listen, or to talk to us about your thoughts and concerns relating to freshwater issues.

We will also continue to hold several more targeted events, such as the Q&A evening we had for farmers in Little River and the carbon farming workshop we co-hosted with Beef and Lamb in Duvauchelle.

Ngā mihi,

Gina Waibl